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Finding Aid: Civil War

Encyclopedias and
Reference Sources
Searching the
Library Catalog
Online Databases
Print Indexes Legislation Periodicals
Statistics Videos / Audio Websites

The following selective list of print and online resources has been compiled by McGovern Library staff as a starting point for research on the Civil War. It is not a complete listing of related materials held by McGovern Library or available online, but is intended to serve as a guide to some of the Library's resources, and as a pointer to a variety of electronic resources.

Encyclopedias And Reference Sources

  • American Civil War Reference Library
  • The Atlas of the Civil War (REF OVERSIZE G12091 .S5 A85 1994)
  • Battles of the Civil War (REF G3701.S5 2005 .N3)
  • A Compendium of the War of Rebellion (REF E491 .D99 1959)
  • Encyclopedia of the American Civil War (E468 .E53 2000)
  • Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment (REF UB8000 E.53 2000)
  • Facts About the Presidents (REF E176.1 .K3 1993
  • Historical Dictionary of the Civil War and Reconstruction (REF E468 .R53 2004
  • Presidential Administration Profiles for Students (REF
  • Presidential Also-Rans and Running Mates, 1788-1980 (REF E176.1 .S695 1984)
  • Women during the Civil War: an Encyclopedia (REF E628 .H37 2004)

Andrew Boyajian Civil War additions to the Jennewein Collection*
Shelved in Special Collections. Rare/locked case items are located in the archives and are available for use by appointment. For information contact:

Laurie Langland
University Archivist
Dakota Wesleyan University
1201 McGovern Avenue
Mitchell, SD 57301

Searching the Library Catalog

  • Subject-heading keyword searches:
    "Civil War," or names of contemporary figures or places such as "Abraham Lincoln," "Frederick Douglass," "Ulysses S. Grant," Gettysburg," or "Andersonville," etc.
  • Keyword searches combining terms such as
    "Civil War" or "slavery" with "prisons," "abolitionists," underground railroad," etc.
  • Limit by publication year to see the most recently published resources or for contemporary documents.

Online Databases

  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCOHost) (searching tips)
    Academic Search Premier includes general interest and scholarly articles in a variety of areas including the social sciences.
  • Ancestry Library (On-campus access only)
  • HeritageQuest
    Includes U.S. Federal Census records from 1790 thru 1930; over 24,000+ family and local history books; PERSI (database covering more than 2.1 million genealogy and local history articles); Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application files, Freednman's Bank files, and U.S. Serial Set files.
  • Historic American Newspapers
    Provides access to U.S. historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922.
    Provides access to scholarly journals in many social science disciplines. Coverage begins with volume 1 for each title. Depending on the publisher, the most recent three - five years may not be available via JSTOR.
  • Making of America
    Making of American (MoA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum through reconstruction.
  • New York Times Historical
    The Historical New York Times (1851-2006) with Index (1851-1993) provides search capability using subject terms and topics for focused and targeted results in combination with searchable full text, full page, and article-level images from the Historical New York Times (1851-2006).
  • NYPL Digital Gallery (New York Public Library)
    Provides free and open access to over 685,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.
  • ProQuest Research Library (searching tips)
    ProQuest includes general interest and scholarly articles in a variety of areas including the social sciences.

Print Indexes

Print* indexes available in McGovern Library:

  • Essay and General Literature Index
    • Use "United States -- History -- Civil War"
  • Humanities Index
    • Use "United States -- History -- Civil War"
  • Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature
    • Use "United States -- History -- Civil War,"; "Reconstruction (Civil War)," etc.
  • Social Sciences Index
    • Use "United States -- History -- Civil War," "Reconstruction (Civil War)," etc. 


  • Congressional Globe
    • HARDCOPY: 33rd Cong. (1853) -42nd Cong. (1873).
      (Shelved at the end of Bound Periodials; please ask for assistance.)
    • MICROFILM: 23rd Cong. (1833) -25th Cong. (1838)


J-STOR Titles -- History
(Note: JSTOR content may not include articles from the most recent 1-5 years.)

J-STOR Titles -- African American Studies
(Note: JSTOR content may not include articles from the most recent 1-5 years.)

J-STOR Titles -- Political Science

Use indices to locate articles in print journals held by the library.


Videos / Audio



  • Birth of a Nation (VT 670-671)
  • The Blue & the Gray (DVD 051)
  • Gettysburg (VT 1601-1602)
  • Glory (VT 1212)

Websites: American Civil War Digital Collections

Dakota Wesleyan University
1200 W. University Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
Copyright © DWU
Phone: 605-995-2618
Fax: 605-995-2893
E:mail: library@dwu.edu
Page Maintained by: K. Kenkel
Last updated: 2/28/13